Restaurant Memories


Art from the outside world. I was looking for a gallery link or a well-illustrated article about the field art at the Tour de France, going on now. I found this. Canadian Cycling: How the Tour de France disguises the phallic artwork on its route, 2019.


The New York City Restaurant Archive: Mamma Leone’s Ristorante

When I was a munchkin, the day before summer camp was designated as Kids Day. I got to choose what we did. If memory serves, activities were Coney Island and Mamma Leone’s, year after year.

The choice of restaurant mystifies me.

I was a picky eater, so big portions were not the draw. I dislike pasta dishes except under narrow circumstances, i.e. my husband cooks the meal and eating at home means the food stays hot. I dislike red sauce under any circumstance.

So why a Southern Italian restaurant? In Manhattan? It’s not like I lacked for other choices. I can’t tell you. I have no memory of the food. However, to this day, to this minute as I type, I remember Mamma Leone’s as a special place.

The Inn at Little Washington

We stayed here for our wedding night. Wonderful food. Wonderful stay. Wonderful memories. Went back for our 20th anniversary. Dinner at the Inn. Stayed at one of the many other hotels in town that have grown up as a cottage industry to support of the Inn. Both businesses seemed happy with the arrangement. Guess you can feed a lot more people than you can house.

Looking back, we thought we were posh. We were probably adorable.

So young! Photo courtesy of BTDT: Congratulations and Best Wishes.

Lean Cuisine

Playing cards with my Grandmother. We’d take a break in the action to each nuke a box for dinner.

After a lifetime of cooking for her family, she said, ‘Enough. I’m done. TV dinners it is.’ She would not have phrased it this way, but I saw it as a feminist petite rebellion against an assigned gender role.

Enoteca Pinchiorri

My father was working in Florence. When I showed up, the family of the boss had just left after a long stay. This left Boss feeling very pater familias. He kept stressing the importance of family to my father. This translated into Michelin three-star meal.

The food was fantastic, of course,

Even more than the food, what struck me was the service. A table captain oversaw the operation. A flock of assistants ensured that all plates were removed or placed simultaneously. This was done in silence, with gestures, so as not to interrupt our conversation. Our meal progressed in a pleasant flow as food appeared in from of us.

This has become my standard against which all restaurant service is measured.


Letter Arts Review 36:1, Lettering and Food. A dedicated issue of lettering on historic and contemporary menus. Continuing my effort to use what comes into the house as starting points for Sunday posts. [Signs, Admin]

Apparently menu collecting is a thing. NYPL: What’s on the menu? About.

Also menus are serious business. Cornell: Menu Design and Engineering.

Images from websites.

Parting Shot – Or Not

Leaving Nobu in London. The paparazzi sees people exiting. They stir. They see that the people are us. They settle back down. Well, that tells us how we rank in the world of fame and glitter.


5 thoughts on “Restaurant Memories

  1. For some reason my brain read ‘a flock of assistants’ as ‘a flock of assassins’ which would have been a completely different sort of dining experience…

  2. Loved this and loved the darling photo! Have wanted to go check out the Inn at Little Washington – I need to add this to a list!

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